Friday, February 15, 2013
In the early 2000's we started doing research. One of the pieces of information that we wanted to find was the names of one of our sets of great-great grandparents. We found the year of death of our great grandfather on our cousin's family tree. Using his name and year of death, we ordered a copy of his death certificate from the state of Pennsylvania. We were sure that this would list his parents' names. It did not. The section for parents' names said "don't know." Next we ordered his marriage license application. We expected this to list his parents' names. Unfortunately Philadelphia marriage license applications in 1902 did not list parents' names. We didn't know where to look next. Luckily he had a sister. We found her listed in the online Social Security Death Index. Using the information in the Index, we ordered a copy of her original SS-5 Social Security Application. On this document she wrote her parents' names, including her mother's maiden name. If we had only focused on our direct ancestor we would never have found this information. One family mystery down, a million more to go!